Thursday, February 05, 2009

My commute... in pictures..

More or less, I ran into a problem midway...

So it's a 13+ mile trek to work from home and 15+ back the way I go and I do it once in awhile when I have the time. It's an hour each way regardless of conditions, mine or nature's. I do it because I can, it add's to my fitness and I ejoy (usually...) the challenge. Another fellow biker and Elantra owner Doohickie blogged this concept already and I found it a neat idea and wanted to give it a go, so go I did when the time presented itself to me.

The following is a visual representation of my commute, and although I was stopping or slowing to take pics, I managed to keep up my speed and complete the first leg in roughly the same time I would normally. So here it goes...

First things first:

Step 1: Prep your gear and kit the night before...
Step 2: Wake up. Early.
Step 3: Once suited up and ready, HTFU and get out there and ride no matter what it
feels like outside temperature wise. For some it may be in the minus temps, but here in So Cal we might see 25ยบ and my last ride in I did.
Step 4: Switch on your lights, fore and aft.

So to begin I hop on, fumble in the darkness with my clipless pedals and I take a left up my street -

I follow it around and come to the little street the dumps out onto Tierrasanta Bl, across from which lies the fueling station -

From here I roll east bound (and down) on Tierrasanta Bl, but instead of taking it across I-15 and thru that big wide canyon that has no bike lane and one major squeeze-play interchange, I turn right onto Santo and drop down onto Clairemont Mesa Bl and take a left there instead-

Not sure if you can see the other side of Tierrasanta Bl. -

First of the canyons, this one on Clairemont Mesa Bl is short and sweet with lots of expansion bumps in the asphalt -

The first of the freeway interchanges is up next and so is the first hill of any import (just beyond). It used to take all that I could muster to get up this thing, it's now relatively easy -

Clairemont Mesa Bl is roughly 5 miles of mixed commercial/residential depending on where you are along the way.

First up is all commercial.

Now anyone who has ever been to the 99 Ranch Market can attest to this: If you ever had any, and I mean any bias, prejudice or ill will toward Asian drivers, but did your best to hold back, toss aside or otherwise disregard those thoughts, this place will challenge them all over and quite possibly win. 'Bumper cars' was how one person described the parking lot, cars are backed up out into the street waiting to get in here...

Second freeway interchange and one reason I take a different way back-

The third interchange is coming up next. I had a school bus give me right of way when I was crossing the freeway on ramp one dark morning, rather nice I thought...

After this it becomes mostly residential with plenty of on street parking. Plenty... so lots of car doors, and another reason I like to take a different route at quitin' time -

This continues unabated until one turns right on Genesee and then preps themselves for a joy ride. But first more parked cars... Then a nice 4-6% grade to the bottom where one can find yet another freeway on ramp and off ramp as well as nice trails in Marion Bear park for mountain biking or gay trysting... ( so a hetero co-worker tells me...):

Tipping point -

Nice place to hit 40+ mph, I like to keep it around 25 or 30 to keep the disaster potential from reaching epic proportions at 5am-

And back up again, get to shifting onto the large cogs.... The first of the Lartigue photos...

You crest at Governor and then head down the next hill repeat -

WooHoo! Oh yeah watch those manhole covers...!

Recently a military jet crashed a quarter mile east of this school...

And back up to UTC and the Golden triangle, the property may be golden alright but the streets are paved with shit-

Just a taste...

You take Genesee up to East Point drive and you see La Jolla Country Day on the left, an expensive school for the well to do around San Diego. Take a left here -

Turn right at the end and this takes you into USCD territory. I found this ancient relic that I had been told about, so I checked it out. It had been protected inside with plexiglass...

Cool old graffiti from WWII... in pencil no less-

Going past the Pruess School and into UCSD...

Where you'll pass by some interesting architecture-

And I stop if I'm driving a car, otherwise I passively ignore these to suit my needs (sorry guys...)

One more small hill-

At the top of that hill you take a left and go past the athletic fields and the gym and onto the corner of North Torrey Pines Rd and Genesee, where you'll take a right to the light then take a left at John Jay Hopkins Dr. All the while making sure traffic is favorable...

I usually take the first right at John Jay Hopkins Court, but since the next one is more interesting blog wise (hell if you made it thus far...) as it is General Atomics Court and the site of the big bronze turd. So everyone I know describes as such, people who don't work in the area but have seen it say the same thing. Turns out a neighbor works for The Scripps Institute and knows about the statue. He said it is supposed to be a wave. A wave... Hmmm looks like a turd. Not one of modern art's better moments...

So it was at this point I turned around and traveled back the way I had came, through UCSD and up to Eastgate Mall by La Jolla Country Day. Instead of taking a right at Genesee, I head straight on Eastgate Mall through the 'Golden Triangle' with the paved with shit roads which makes it's way across the 805 and right into Miramar Road.

The air base is here, it was once the Top Gun training facility when the Navy had it. It's been military land since before anyone reading this was born or their parents. Now it's in the hands of the Marines due to BRAC.

At Miramar I take a left and head down it and it's wonderful asphalt atrocities-

Ok, so all is fine and I'm rolling along at a decent clip. I've been down this road before more than a few times. But up ahead, there's a sign just before the railroad tracks telling bicyclists to "Dismount and walk across tracks".. walk across, ha! More like crash!

And that's where the riding ended. I had to call in for SAG support as my leg was in too much pain for me to HTFU and carry on. I walked across the road to a Winchell's for some band aids. A guy in a Steeler's jersey offered me some Purel to clean my hands with, after which I sat down and sorted myself out a bit. Later I drove myself to the ER for a look see because the leg pain was enough to generate caution and concern. Nothing was damaged other than pride, some bike parts and my thigh muscles on the right side. Oh well so it goes...

I had shot more stuff in the car as we took the route home that I would have taken, but I think the moral of this story is thus:

Always be ready for the worst, prepare yourself for the crash. Carry a cell phone or change, having a small first aid kit maybe a good idea if you're far from services of any kind and above all watch yourself on those damn rubber tiled railroad track crossings...


Snowiee said...

Oh this is so up my alley! I love to see where people ride (if you couldn't tell by all my stupid pictures on my MySpace photos)

I recognized part of your ride...around the UTC mall. (One of my little stomping grounds for a short period of time.)

That is a decent ride!!

God, I love landmarks. I think the "bronze turd" had me laughing for 5 minutes! It just struck me funny and next time I'm down there...oh believe me, I'm doing a drive by. Here in LaCrescenta/La Canada...we have "Touchdown Jesus". I can see it driving from the 2 to the 210.

As soon as I saw the tracks...I cringed. And then I knew.

O U C H!!

I hate those!! There is a few areas where I live that have those troughs in the street and they are similar. I bailed there on my Schwinn Continental once. Thankfully I was just scratched up because I wasn't riding fast.

Anyway...great post! Thanks for sharing the ride!

Doohickie said...

Well done, popeye!